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Issue Alert - 04-10-04

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Oct 13, 2004

Issue Summary:

The residency requirement for Medicaid has been more clearly defined.

Persons Affected:

Medicaid applicants/recipients

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558E-mail:



What's Happening?

For Medicaid only: A person is a Michigan resident if either of the following apply:
  • S/he lives in Michigan, except for a temporary absence, and intendsto remain in Michigan permanently or indefinitely. If the client states that s/he intends to stay in Michigan, but his/her officialBureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS, formerly,Immigration and Naturalization Service)documents indicate a temporary or time-limited period to the visit, the client may be denied Medicaid unless s/he can show that official steps are being taken with BCIS to apply for lawful permanent resident status; OR
  • He or a member of his Medicaid (MA) fiscal group has entered the state of Michigan for employment purposes, and
    • has a job commitment, or
    • is seeking employment.
    A person who claims that he or a member of his MAfiscal group has entered the state for employment purposes mustverify that they have a job commitment or are seeking employment.
    If the official BCIS documents indicate a status that does notpermit the person to work, the regulations state that this is proof that the person did NOT enter Michigan for purposes of employment and that s/he does not meet the residency requirement for Medicaid eligibility.The regulations state that caseworkers are to accept a client's statement of intent to remain in Michigan unless that statement is inconsistent or in conflict with known facts.

    Some acceptable verification sources of a job commitment or intent to seek employment include:
    • Department of Labor and Economic Growth work registration;
    • Statement from employer, pay stubs, job offer letter, employment contract, employee work schedule, verification of employment form, FIA-38;
    • An official BCIS document that does not indicate that the person is prohibited from working. For example: I-551, Resident Alien Card, I-766 Employment AuthorizationCard

What Should Advocates Do?

Share this information with clients and other agencies.

What Should Clients Do?

If you were wrongly denied Medicaid because of residency requirements, re-apply for Medicaid. If you were denied within the last 3 months, request a hearing and seek legal advice (see below).

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.